Diesel mechanic near Downtown L.A.

Hi,
I've recently moved just west of Downtown L.A. to get my B.A. at USC. I need a mechanic to service my 1980 Mercedes diesel. Anybody know a good, reasonable mechanic in the area? The car is a beat-up workhorse
so I don't need a factory trained virtuoso who will wrinkle his nose at my "ghetto benz." I only have one car, so I can't leave it in the shop for weeks at a time. I'm not a haggler, just don't like somebody pushing very expensive work on a $1,500 car.
Thanks!!
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On Apr 27, 3:48 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It may not be as close by as you would like but I would recommend Import Auto works in Pasadena / (626) 844-7955 2771 East Foothill - they are a Mercedes shop. Ask for Jerry. Their specialty seems to be older diesel MB. I wouldn't go anywhere else. I have tried quite a few shops around the LA area and they SUCK. It was a great day when I found Jerry. They won't turn their noses up at your "ghetto benz". Good luck!
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Try Lovecraft... ask them if they do. I do know they work on all older MB diesel.
http://www.lovecraft.com/
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NOT a good idea. First, because the guy who went by the name "Lovecraft" and made a lot of promises that he failed to fulfill. Second, because the lady that took over the operation after making a name for herself in recycled ladies clothing chain. Third, because Lovecraft focuses upon conversions to WVO and uses a poor approach to that end. Tell the guy to run away.
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Have you done business with Lovecraft?
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I bought one of the original Lovecraft conversions when Brian still ran the company. Lovely car and a solid conversion. The poster is right in that they were not consistent - constantly changing the design for conversions and they were selling crappy used grease. Too many vultures trying to get in on the business. No wonder Brian couldn't deliver. At the time, the "in-house" mechanics were constantly changing and questionable in terms of experience....I saw some things going on over there that made me realize that I would NEVER take my car to get serviced there. As far as I know the company has changed hands - I have had no dealings with them since the changeover. Again, I would recommend Jerry at Import Auto. Experienced, dependable, knowledgeable...and they have been a fixture there for quite a while. Used to work for the Mercedes dealership in Glendale if I am not mistaken. MBs and only MBs. What more could you ask for? I have seen a lot of hack mechanics who CLAIM they can work on Mercedes...why risk it. I would be interested to hear if anyone out there has been to Lovecraft since it changed hands. Where did Brian go?
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Interesting... I didn't know Brian left. As far as I know, there are only two kits made... original where you have to change the filter and the current one where there is permanent filter.
I have the permanent filter unit kit. My friend already have it installed on his for over a year. No problem. I will install mine soon. I like their kit more than anyone elses. It is simple and it work.
Like the other poster said, all kits are very subjective to who is better or not. I am a firm believer of single tank setup. WVO has to be processed correctly before use in any WVO kit.
Same is said for how you filter WVO too. Some prefer to go with Lye to produce biodiesel, some simply just filter the WVO.
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Tiger I hope that you live someplace warm because the WVO heaters that I have seen and heard about from them are not sufficient to warm the "fuel' to the point where the diesel engine can use it without harm. Dual tank systems seem to be the way to go if you must burn WVO. I will not use that stuff or even actual biodiesel in my 87 300D with a new engine-in 3 years, a new turbo and IP in the last 6 months, and a rebuilt transmission in the last 9 months. Diesel fuel is currently at high price. Get over it and do not trash your engine with the problems that come with WVO.
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You heard but never used this type is the problem. We live in Northern NJ. No problem using it on MB setup they sold. They have external heater that sits in place of original fuel filter. We are already running this system and has no problem with it.
His friend in Massachusett used the same system on his VW and he has no problem.
On my car, it will be two heaters... one factory preheater right on engine block. and the one provided by Lovecraft. I may add another one on injector lines if I find it necessary.
You just have to blend in diesel to thin it out accordingly to weather condition. Not a rocket science.
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I am interested in your set-up. The conversion in my '81 wagon is a marine filter with the preheater underneath it, a small, auxillary fuel pump and the fuel filter/circulator from Lovecraft. What is the factory preheater on your engine block? Do you mean the plug-in block heaters or is this something else? I am out on the NE coast now and NOT running much WVO in the coldest months. What is the source of the heater for the injector lines that you are considering?
Also, have you had any issues with fouled injectors? I spoke with a guy with 3 converted older MBs (he was running two-tank systems of his own design) and he claimed cleaning the injectors was a piece of cake. I can't locate him to ask the specifics but a brief internet search yielded little more than a passing reference to removing injectors and cleaning them with an unidentified solvent. Any thoughts?
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I will reply to your questions soon with details... However, I will answer questions I know off the top of my head.
My car is 1995 E300D... from factory, it already have a preheater built into the engine. It shares coolant in the engine head. The preheater warms up the diesel fuel before it goes to the fuel filter and injection pump
I do have factory block heater, but have yet to use it. I have zero problem starting my car in 10 degree weather... with diesel of course.
As you know in our situation... it is not that we can't burn WVO in winter... but how much processing we can do in the winter is the key. I probably will have garage room this coming winter to do some filtering... as of now, zero chance of doing so. I do all my work outside
Sourse of heater for injection line I am considering... I will answer soon as I have to search.
As for fouled injector, I don't know... my injectors are new and I have not converted to WVO yet. My friend's 87 300SDL has no problem as of yet. Our WVO quest was hampered by my WVO filteration job... which is now worked out.
As for cleaning the injector, an old time MB service rep... he said one gallon of gas in full tank of diesel will clean out the injector in no time. We are wary of that... the safer way to do this is simply Lubro Moly Diesel Purge... which is you disconnect both fuel lines in the engine compartment... plug up the lines from tank so it doesn't leak out... Put the fuel lines into a glass jar (large mayonaise jar type) and pour in two cans of diesel purge... start up car and run it until low... don't let it suck air... and then hook everything back up and you are done.
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Interesting...... I hear you with the processing issue in cold weather. I get my WVO in 16L jugs. I filter batch by batch (in the house by the wood stove - not recommended, although I have it down to a science but most sane people would never do this in their house!) - mainly because I haven't had the cash or time to make a more effective system with an in-line pump and storage...also because it gives me some quality control. If I start filtering and I don't like the looks of the oil I put it aside dispose of it later. I want to get a pH tester as I know that is an issue. How does your friend filter his oil? Does he test for pH?
As for the Moly purge - I did help a friend with another '81 Lovecraft conversion do a diesel purge and it was pretty simple. Did seem to help the performance of the car. HOWEVER, the car did have some leaky seal issues which seemed to increase after the purge. The fellow with the 3 converted MBs told me NEVER do a purge as he believed it removed all the stuff that settles in the seals and crevices which help keep the seals tight. In other words, it purges too much from the engine and can contribute to leaks. This was something to think about in light of the experience my friend had.
I was also told never to use the fuel additives (ie; winter fuel thinners/injector cleaners) as they are bad for the engine. Don't know the specifics of that warning so if anyone has any light to shed on that subject I would be curious. Better or worse than a dose of regular gas or kerosene - I don't know. Why are you wary of the advice re: adding a little gas? What have you heard about that?
So have you done your conversion yet? Did you ever look into the Elsbett injector kits from Germany?
Thanks for the info.

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The injection line heater is at this place...
http://www.fattywagons.com/fwproducts.htm
I filter all the oil for my friend. My current setup is multiple filters... I mean multiple but they are all on top of each other.
First process is 600-400-200-100 microns where I first pour the oil through... if the oil flows through quickly, all is good. When oil gets real dirty, it flows real bad... I would then lift these filters out ther dump the oil into another container. These dirty oil gets to go back to the grease recycling bin.
Those oil that made it through, I then filter it into filter bags... 100-50-25-10-1 microns.. Oil has flowed through these without a problem as my first step catches all the worse stuff.
Once these are done and before being pumped into the fuel tank, I have electric pump and it sucks the oil through the marine/truck diesel Racor filter unit to catch any water and filter it to positively 2 micron filter unit... and then it goes into the fuel tank of the car.
I have not test for pH... most of the time, the oil is relatively fresh and burns in no time.
Interesting on the diesel purge.
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